This week we post a letter from Robert’s sister Ann Campbell. Ann is in Ireland and has apparently not been feeling well. The letter almost makes it sound like she may be on her deathbed, but she would in fact live till 1876. Ann tells Robert how much she thinks of him and how often he and his family are in her prayers. Ann Campbell lived in Aughalane House, which is now part of the Ulster American Folk Park. Enjoy getting all the news from Ireland.
Aughalane March 5th 1856
My Beloved Brother Robert
Your affectionate letter did me so much good, it was more to me than all the medicine in Europe, it really did exhilarate me and made me so happy that I am sure your kind heart would rejoice to see me.
It is a year since I wrote you and finished my farewell letter that I began the previous January. The doctors ordered me as soon as summer would commence to go to the shore but on the first week in July I was fainting from extreme weakness. I had to leave the house to get two floors that were badly laid made right, as I could not endure the noise of the hammers; so I went to Jane McHarlands’ [McFarlands?] with Annie’s attention and kindness (for her disposition is like yours) thank God I felt stronger although I was with her but ten days on 16th Aug I went to Hugh McCullough Margt was also very attentive and I was enabled through divine assistance to proceed to [?]_______. I returned home on 16th Sept and the day previous to my return
[Pg. Break] I walked six miles without much fatigue. Thank God I have been pretty well through the winter. I was not in bed an hour out of my usual time since I came from [?]______ ______ I had the house [?]________ in March last and painted in September both doors and windows are painted white: I thought all my dear relatives would have been here before this; that we might meet again under the roof in which we first breathed and may God grant with blessing I may not be disappointed yet I think He will realize this favor to me and should I not be here the thought that my dear brother would [?]_____ on my grave would be a consolation to me now for to what purpose was all the expense the prepare the house the fine apartments that were always neat were enough for me but the hope of seeing you all did stimulate me to everything I did and made any little care I had only delight; write me on receipt of this and say you will with the Almighty’s help be here next summer; it might renew sister Virginia’s health that God may long spare her to you and give her permanent health is my fervent prayer. I hope the sweet boy Hugh [Hugh Campbell, lived to 81] is well and also little Hazlett [spelled Haslett, the first Hazlett Kyle Campbell, died at the age of 3] and the other little fellow. I trust he will be as healthy as the other two are and God grant they may be as great a comfort to you
[Pg. Break] and their dear mother as you have been to me. I hope I never do go to bed without wishing a blessing on you and yours and I trust I never will and that the hours of prayer will grant any requests for you and your family.
I was looking over a letter of yours the other day dated 11th May 1833 and the affection and love in it caused tears of gratitude that you are still unchanged for the same kindness that breathed through it pervades your last; Oh! that I may be grateful to the great first cause for tis’ paternal care to an aged orphan in giving such brothers as He has given me. In the letter I am speaking of Brother Hugh in a postscript [?]____ the decease of your father in law on 5th of same month and adds I have seldom met with a more amiable lady than his widow; nor more interesting children than his daughters; I am sure if there had been ten daughters there could be none more amiable than sister Virginia thank God she is yours. I trust her health is restored.
Andrew and his numerous family are well; both he and sister Betty are youthful looking for their age, his sons assist on the farm; they are like their mother’s brothers, genteel looking and tall of their age; Bessie lives with me since I was ill she never looked better in her life than she does at present; Virginia is growing tall and is an amiable child.
[Pg. Break] Annie has a family of five sons and one daughter all health a lovely baby died from her in Autumn; her husband is a decent person and doing well the former has fours on and the latter two daughters and one son; both their husbands have a fine share of business at [?]_____ ______. Margaret is also doing well and has three sons and one daughter; she is much beloved by her neighbors. Mary wrote of your kindness in relieving her from her difficulties; poor dear she was a stranger and in debt; the Lord reward you for what you have done for her and though last not least dear Charlotte. She wrote me lately and John never wrote a letter home but he was so good as to mention me; he was always a favorite with his mother and I’ve thought there was something very noble in John even when a little boy. Give my kind love to Mr. Campbell [?]_____ & Charlotte; I am so happy to hear that she has a fine little child. I hope it will live for a blessing to them, Joseph and Mrs. Campbell are well, she does not visit much in Winter as she is susceptible of cold but her health is good. I do not know when I shall write my good Charlotte, for I have not [?]_____ to do anything as before I was sick but she is devare she has my prayers, for her welfare. May every happiness be sister Virginia’s and yours here and hereafter is the prayer of your grateful sister